Universal life insurance and term life insurance policies have their own benefits, but it’s important to choose a policy that’s right for you.

Q: I have universal life policy for $50,000 that I have had for 15 years and the cash value is $6,000 if I should cash it out.

Should I get term and cash out this policy?

A: Cash value policies are worthless unless you’re going to keep them for the long run. But now you can see the problem: 15 years into paying on it, and you only have $6,000 in the cash value part of the plan, and will $50,000 really be enough life insurance? Probably not. You may be better off stopping this now, taking your $6,000 and buying enough term life insurance to really cover your loved ones in case of an emergency. A healthy, non smoking 35-year old man can buy $500,000 worth of insurance for about $500 per year. You could invest the rest ($5,500) and probably have enough money to pay this bill for the next 15 to 20 years.

Jan. 1, 2005